Something New

For a number of years I traveled from Pennsylvania to Michigan. Several times I crossed part of Canada to get there. The first image I finished this month was an attempt to join the feelings and sense of friendships made through the time and space of this travel. The other image I worked on reacted to and built from a big stroke of leftover paint I had applied to paper. The fact that this bold green mark contained remnants of orange pigment gave me an opening to expand the palette elsewhere on the page. Suddenly new possibilities opened up. The artistic image is not a perfect window for the past. Rather it conjures up relationships and a direction for the future. While I can’t be out on the open road at this time, I can begin to chart new vistas.

Title:Michigan Canada Crossing, Media: Watercolor, Ink, and Acrylic Paint, Size: 18″ x 16 ¾”
Title: Grace, Media: Watercolor, Ink, Acrylic Paint, & Collage, Size: 18″ x 7 ¼”

J. Todd Allison and Joe Moccia: Views From Another World

(To learn more about the “Viewfinder Project” see the original post.)

Since I was young, I have been interested in stories about how a distant world may come in contact with our everyday life. Recently, I read a book by Gary Lachman about the German spiritual leader and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. At a certain point in the biography Steiner receives hidden knowledge from a person identified as the “Master”. One gets the feeling this mysterious person is either part fiction or comes from a different dimension. It has also been intriguing to hear a recent interview on NPR with physicist Brian Greene who discusses the possibility of parallel universes. Although Greene speaks about plausible science and does not indicate how parallel universes may interact, at the very least his discussion allowed me feel as if my intuition has some connection (if not distant) with concrete data. These visceral feelings are related to the way that art is able to revealed worlds that exist beyond our humdrum routines.

J. Todd Allison, “Viewfinder”, 6″ x 4 1/4″, 2006

Both J. Todd Allison and Joe Moccia sent me “Viewfinders” that point to uncharted worlds. Allison’s painting (seen above) seems to combine body organs with mechanical parts and what looks to me like a woodpecker. All of this occurs amidst floating bubbles and a blue background. I can’t help but feel like this is an interior scene and this is a world within a larger body. In this regard, I thought of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. In this film individuals are miniaturized and travel through a human body.

Joe Moccia is a graphic designer who now works with motion graphics in the Washington D.C. area. However, when I was getting to know Joe he had an obsession with robots (he is also a bit of an inventor). His painting/ pen and ink drawing (seen below) seems to be an extension of his interest in science fiction. The strange cloud made with iridescent paint appears to be an alien life form or U.F.O. that can shift shape.

Joe Moccia, “Viewfinder”, 6″ x 4 1/4″, 2006